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The 2018 OARTY Conference - Leading the Way, Together featured high-end speakers presenting on topics relevant to the residential services, mental health and child welfare sectors.  You can find out more about these respected speakers, including links to their presentations where applicable, below.  Please note that presentations are posted based on approval from the presenters, and members only presentations/content will be shared in the members only section in the coming days.


Dr. Jean M Clinton BMus MD FRCP(C)
Clinical Professor McMaster University
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences

The Healing Power of Relationships and Connection - 
Presentation Slides (pdf)

Dr Jean Clinton is a Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster, division of Child Psychiatry. She is on staff at McMaster Children’s Hospital with cross appointments in Pediatrics and Family Medicine, and an Associate in the Department of Child Psychiatry, University of Toronto and Sick Children’s Hospital.  She is also a senior scientist at the INCH (INfant Child Health) Lab at McMaster University. IN addition she is a Fellow of the Child Trauma Academy. She has been a consultant to children and youth mental health programs, child welfare, and primary care for almost 30 years. Dr Clinton was recently appointed as an education advisor to the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Education.

Dr Clinton is renowned locally, provincially, nationally, and more recently internationally as an advocate for children’s issues. Her special interest lies in brain development, and the crucial role relationships and connectedness play therein. Jean champions the development of a national, comprehensive child well-being strategy including a system of early learning and care for all young children and their families. She is equally committed to ensuring that children’s and youths’ needs and voices are heard and respected.

You can find out more about Dr. Jean Clinton at her website -


Jamil Jivani
Award Winning Activist

Opening Dinner Keynote
Presentation Slides Not Applicable

Jamil Jivani tackles some of the biggest challenges in the world as a lawyer, community organizer, and teacher. A visiting professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, Jamil focuses on issues that impact youth, immigrants, and low-income families. He is also the founder of the Citizen Empowerment Project, a public education organization leading initiatives related to policing, racial profiling, democratic participation, voter turnout and economic development.

Jamil’s change leadership is informed by his personal journey of empowerment from being a failing high school student and working as a dishwasher, to attending the most exclusive law school in the world. Coming from a single parent household, as a youth he nearly fell into many of the traps that send young men on a detour away from success. It is this experience that propelled him into activism, focusing on issues such as bridging the gap between police and communities, overcoming the radicalization of youth, and encouraging young people to achieve success. His TEDx Toronto talk, How Racial Profiling Hurts Everyone, Including the Police, has been viewed almost 100,000 times.

Jamil graduated from Yale Law School in 2013, and formerly served as President of the Yale Black Law Students Association. While at Yale, Jamil worked for Senator Cory Booker in New Jersey, as a Connecticut high school teacher, and as a Manhattan corporate lawyer. Since graduating, he has practiced corporate law in Toronto and was named the 2015 Young Lawyer of the Year by the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Jamil worked as a school teacher in Kenya and as a management consultant in Western Canada.

Of particular interest to residential service providers would be an opinion piece from Jamil in the  April 17th issue of the Toronto Star titled "Helping Children in Need Requires Broad Solutions". You can read this article here:


Dr. Tricia Logan                                                                            
Research Manager
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

The Impact of the Residential School System - 
Presentation Slides (pdf)


Originally from Kakabeka Falls, Ontario; Tricia completed her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Native Studies at the University of Manitoba.  Tricia obtained her PhD in History at Royal Holloway at the University of London where she completed her PhD dissertation on ‘Indian Residential Schools, Settler Colonialism and Their Narratives in Canadian History’. Prior to joining the National Centre for Truth and Reconciiliation, Tricia worked with the Aboriginal Healing Foundation at the Southwest Region Manitoba Métis Foundation, Legacy of Hope Foundation, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and with the Irish in Britain as part of the ‘Irish Voices’ project.

You can access the NCTR website at, where you can see the status of the Truth an Reconciliation's calls to action, access historical information and resources, including an interactive map which shows when and where residential schools existed within Canada.  To find out more about the educational work of the NCTR visit


Jamie Tyrell
Compassion Fatigue Educator
Tyrell Consulting

Giving All You Have: Tools and Strategies to Deal with Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma -
Presentation Slides (pdf)

Jamie is a certified Compassion Fatigue Educator (TEND Academy), a trainer with the Ontario Municipal Social Service Association, and a coach for relationship management, managing change and team building. A personable and engaging speaker, he brings experience, humour, knowledge and resources to the workshops and training sessions he delivers across the country.

Jamie has worked in the social services field for more than 15 years. He started his career with the City of Cornwall as a Case Manager for the Ontario Works program, and went on to implement new technology and business transformations for front-line staff with the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

He has worked with school boards and high-risk youth to identify and facilitate collaborations between multiples agencies with the aim of helping students achieve Grade 12 diplomas. Jamie has also coordinated a variety of social programs to answer the challenges of homelessness, domestic violence and social housing.

A graduate of Trent University, Jamie holds a degree from Trent University in International Development, and Resource Studies with a focus on Community Development. He lives in Cornwall, Ontario with loving partner, Josée, and his three children.

Dr. Kim Snow
Associate Professor, School of Child and Youth Care
Ryerson University

Education as Social Capital: What Works
and How Learning Leads to Thriving -

Presentation Slides (pdf)

Dr. Kim Snow is a recognized expert on children’s services and children's mental health and is a practitioner/researcher with a focus on the voice of the child and on safeguarding children and youth in service systems. She holds provincial and North American certification as a child and youth care practitioner and has thirty years of service to children, youth and their families. Kim works with young people and community groups, using collaborative problem solving methods, in order to prompt change within child and youth service settings. Her research interests focus on voice and participation and her projects make use of critical discourse analysis and participatory methods.

Dr. Snow is also the director of the Voyager Project, an award winning social innovation aimed at improving the educational attainment of Crown wards. Current and former Crown wards reach out to other young people living in foster and group care to encourage them to pursue their educational aspirations.  Dr. Snow worked with the Office of the Ontario Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth to conduct a comprehensive analysis of serious occurrence reporting in Ontario's children's residences. The Serious Occurences Preliminary Report was released in February, 2016 and the follow-up report, In Harm's Way was released in November 2017.  Dr. Snow's breadth of knowledge and experience makes her an acknowledged authority in the field and a frequently consulted expert.


Rogue Witterick                                                                
Youth Advocate 
The 519

Creating Authentic Spaces:  LGBT2SQ
Inclusion in Employment, Youth and Service Spaces 
Presentation Slides (pdf)

Rogue Witterick (they/them pronouns) is a parent, youth advocate, writer and violence prevention consultant, working as a Facilitator at the 519. Rogue started out in case support at a local Children's Aid Society but went on to deliver two decades of anti-oppression facilitation and activism provincially and nationally.  Rogue's work is multi sector and has taken place within and outside of international organizations like the YMCA and Red Cross. Rogue's current work fosters transformative discussion about gender and sexual diversity.  They've also co-ordinated training initiatives and learning systems design for non-profits.  Rogue's published work is in GUTS and Chasing Rainbows: Exploring Gender Fluid Parenting Practices. They live in Toronto but facilitate nationally and hatch new projects in a forest near Parry Sound, Ontario.


  Thomas A. Stefanik                                                              Torkin Manes LLP

  HR and Employment Law - Bill 148 - 
 Presentation Slides (pdf)

Thomas is a partner and head of Torkin Manes LLP’s Employment & Labour Group.

On the labour relations side, Tom’s practice involves counselling and representing employers in matters such as applications for certification by trade unions, unfair labour practice complaints, collective bargaining and arbitrations, human rights complaints, pay equity and privacy issues. In the employment area, Tom represents employers and employees in drafting employment contracts, litigating wrongful dismissal cases and dealing with post-employment issues such as restrictive covenants and fiduciary duties. Tom also represents employers with respect to occupational health and safety matters, including responding to orders and defending charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, as well as applications, appeals and other proceedings under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.

Tom regularly assists employers by proactively leading seminars and workshops for management on topics such as responding to union organizing campaigns and dealing with accommodating disabled employees. He also conducts workplace investigations as necessary to ensure that an employer’s legal position is fully protected.

Tom also speaks frequently to Human Resource professionals and managers on such topics as union organizing and various legislative amendments and developments.


Jane Kovarikova                                                                     
Founder of the Child Welfare Political Action
Committee Canada and Former Foster Child

Achieving Better Outcomes for Youth in Care - Presentation Slides (pdf)


Child rights advocate, Jane Kovarikova, grew up in foster care since the age of six and began living on her own at age 16. Understanding the unique circumstances and challenges faced by youth-in-care inspired an ongoing academic and professional commitment to bettering youth outcomes. In 2009, she graduated with MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics. Later, her advocacy as Chief of Staff to an opposition member of provincial parliament was instrumental to developing legislation that will reduce youth homelessness in Ontario. Currently, Kovarikova serves on the board of Simcoe-Muskoka Family Connexions and is a PhD Candidate at Western University in the Department of Political Science. Jane is both the President and Founder of the Child Welfare Political Action Committee

You can access a recent article from Jane Kovarikova "For foster kids to succeed, they need more than just care", published in the Globe and Mail on December 29, 2017.


Freddy Proia                                                                     

Performed on Thursday, June 7th at 9 PM                              

Freddy Proia has an honest love for performing and it is clearly evident each time he steps on stage, whether it be for an audience of two hundred at a local fundraising event, or two thousand in a New York City Theatre.

Freddy is a seasoned professional and has performed to adoring audiences throughout North America. His high energy performance combined with an array of celebrity impressions has made Freddy an audience favourite for almost 20 years. Freddy continues to delight fans by drawing his humour from life experiences and his Italian heritage. Freddy has had the privilege of taking the stage at several prestigious theatres throughout North America including: The Markham Theatre, The Sony Centre, The Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts, New Jersey Centre for the Performing Arts, Boston’s Emerson Majestic Theatre, Staten Island University Theatre, Hamilton Place, Kingswood Music Theatre at Wonderland, Brampton Rose Theatre, Mississauga Living Arts Centre, Queen’s University Theatre (NYC), Long Island University Theatre and many more.

Aside from stand-up comedy, Freddy has crossed over into the acting world with appearances in the 20th Century Fox Film PCU, as well as the Canadian television sitcoms Twitch City and Due South. He has also lent his voice and acting abilities to various television and radio commercials.
Freddy continues to receive accolades as a corporate comedian and master-of-ceremonies, having performed for Hewlett Packard, Imperial Oil, The Canadian Insurance Underwriters Association, Loomis Courier, London Life Insurance, Harvey’s Restaurants, City of Toronto, Tim Horton’s, The OLG Commission, RIM, Quebecor, Peller Estates Winery, the Ottawa Consumer’s Choice Awards, The Canadian Liver Foundation, The Tourette Syndrome Foundation, Counterforce Security Systems, Apotex Pharmaceuticals, Vaughan Chamber of Commerce, CNIB Fundraising Event and many more.
Freddy is a true entertainer who genuinely has fun on stage. His energy and love for performing is contagious, and will keep you buzzing long after the show is done.

You can find out more about Freddy, and view a video of him performing, at


John Ratchford
Navigator, Principal and General Counsel, Toronto

Reputation Risk: Crisis Management (Members' Only)
Presentation Slides Not Available

John Ratchford is a Principal and General Counsel at Navigator with twenty years’ experience in the practice of law, and providing strategic communications advice. His public and government affairs experience has included serving as Counsel to the Premier of Ontario; Chief of Staff to the Deputy Premier of Ontario; and Campaign Press Secretary to Nova Scotia Premier John Hamm.

At Navigator, John handles public affairs campaigns, crisis communication projects and corporate transactions.

John practised law with a leading law firm in Halifax Nova Scotia, Stewart McKelvey, before coming to Toronto in 2000 to join one of Canada’s largest law firms, Gowlings LLP.

John serves on the board of the Sarcoma Cancer Foundation of Canada, and on the finance and parish committees of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Toronto. He has served on numerous political campaigns, as a member of the boards of directors of the Arthritis Society, the United Way (Halifax), and the Parkinson Society; and on the executives of the St. Francis Xavier University alumni association in Toronto and the PC Party of Nova Scotia.

John received an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia in 1991 and his LL.B. from the University of New Brunswick in 1994. He was called to the bar in Nova Scotia in 1995 (since retired), and the bar in Ontario in 2000. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada.